After a magnificent final round to this year’s Stockport International young Musicians Competition, German cellist Konstantin Bruns took the first prize of £1000 and will have the opportunity to play again with the orchestra next season.

Konstantin’s performance of the Dvorak cello concerto was “deeply felt from first note to last”, in the words of judge and Patron Jennifer Pike, and an outstanding way to bring an end to what has been a competition of a very high standard.   Konstantin held the Stockport audience spellbound and convinced the judging panel of Jennifer, conductor, Jamie Philips, principal RLPO cellist Jonathan Aasgaard and Head of Strings at  Birmingham Conservatoire, Louise Lansdown that this year’s prize should travel to Berlin.

But Konstantin was only part of the night’s story with viola player Sào and violinist Misako also contributing unforgettably to a night to remember.  Misako gave a wonderful performance of the popular  Tchaikovsky concerto and Sào the less well-known but, in his hands, captivating Walton viola concerto.  Sào revealed on the day that he had never before played as a soloist with an orchestra -  not something anyone would have known from his polished performance - and was surprised at the end of the concert to find that his parents had secretly flown in from the continent to be there to see him play.

For the orchestra, the night was as much about giving these young musicians their opportunity to play as the competition and so for us the comments afterwards of the two finalists who narrowly missed the winning spot were just as pleasing as the obvious delight of the winner:

“It was really good moment and experience to play Tchaikovsky concerto with you all!  - Misako

“I wanted to thank you, the orchestra and everyone involved for such an amazing experience. I really enjoyed every moment, and learnt so much. I think in many aspects it has been a real learning curve for me, and I'm happy to have left with such a positive feeling! It was a great way to have discovered the Walton Concerto together, and to have met such wonderful musicians!” - Sào

The competition opens again in mid 2018 for a Spring 2019 final.